View Full Version : Oxidation.

05-23-2013, 09:39 PM
The 1985 SS I recently purchased needs a good rub. I thought about having it professionally clear coated but the first bid was $3500. I have researched and read that some folks wet sand using 400 through 1500 grit paper then apply rubbing compound and a quality wax. The results seem to appear nice.

Any one have some good ideas for this weekend project?


05-23-2013, 11:06 PM
Depending on condition of your finish you may need a wet sand (if heavily oxidized). If lightly oxidized you should be able to cut out the finish with a liquid compound applied by rotary buffer, follow with a polish to remove swirl marks and bring out the shine then finish off with a good quality wax. Keep the buffer moving and let it do the work for you. As long as you don't camp out on the decals they will be fine. Step back and admire your new found shine.

There are many good products out there that will get you the results you're looking for. I've used Meguiars number series products for years with great results. Their Flagship Marine Wax works very well too.

05-24-2013, 08:11 AM
I did my boat this past spring. There was a heavy dull white oxidization in some areas...enough so that I did a 400 & 600 wet sand before compound.

You can do it yourself and learn as you go. Start with a good buffer. I like Makita, others prefer DeWalt, Porter Cable, etc. 3M has a nice series of products to get the results your looking for. The rest is your time.

The set-up will be costly at first, but a heck of a lot cheaper than having someone do it for you. Spend the money on the good stuff and you'll be happy you did.

05-24-2013, 08:33 AM
Good info here:

05-24-2013, 09:45 AM
There's only about a hundred great threads in here on this subject already.

05-24-2013, 11:17 AM
Collinite 920 cleaner, try using this with a buffing wheel! I love this stuff for what it did to my boat.

05-25-2013, 08:44 PM
Great vid above.. I personally shudder at the thought of hitting the gelcoat with something as course as 400 grit.. When I get to that point on my project boat, I was thinking more along the lines of starting with 800-1200 then hit it with compound.. Seems fairly aligned with 3M's process in the vid..

05-25-2013, 09:29 PM
Great vid above.. I personally shudder at the thought of hitting the gelcoat with something as course as 400 grit.. When I get to that point on my project boat, I was thinking more along the lines of starting with 800-1200 then hit it with compound.. Seems fairly aligned with 3M's process in the vid..

I had some pretty heavy oxidation on my transom. I started with 600 then 1000, 1500, 2000, rubbing compound with a wool pad, finishing compound with a foam pad, then wax. Time consuming, but great results

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05-25-2013, 10:49 PM
great video....

06-10-2013, 12:20 AM
Gelcoat is much more stronger than automotive paint, so do not be afraid to buff it. I usually buff my boat at least once a season. I recommend investing in a good quality variable speed buffer. The cheap ones tend to be very heavy and make the job much harder. I use this one http://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=CWCt8u1G1UcuvBqrL6QGRloHgDYOtivYCy_PnkTez8OuEjw EIBRACIMmYogsoBVDemY2i______8BYMn2pI3spIAQoAGXkZL_ A8gBB6oEJk_QdhHz72exocn-l2kktrIaIPp576Fk4s9wajTV7svgHirWHzjXgAWQTsAFBaAGJo AH0e5t4BKiwOq4y9Lbi-oB&sig=AOD64_0Tr4SEMaFJORV4e1SK5YNd2tjfYQ&ctype=5&rct=j&q=dewalt+polisher&ved=0CEsQvhc&adurl=http://www.factoryauthorizedoutlet.com/dewalt-7-9-variable-speed-polisher%3FCAWELAID%3D977622302%26cagpspn%3Dpla but any good quality tool manufacturer should have something suitable. When I bought my boat, it had been abandoned in the sun for 2/3 years uncovered. I used this http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?mwsId=66666UF6EVsSyXTtOxfXMxF6EVU6E Vs6EVs6EVs6E666666-- with a wool pad (more aggressive) or foam pad (less aggressive) and it brought all the depth and shine back to the boat. Just remember if you are doing a large surface, like a boat, wash your pad frequently to keep the compound from building up.

I would try to hit it with the polish before wetsanding. Modern polishes and compounds work wonders. As I said before, gelcoat is much stronger than automotive paint, so I would not be afraid to buff it with an orbital buffer, even if you do not have much experience.

Once you see the results a few hours work can bring, you are going to start buffing and polishing everything you can find. I've used mine on tile floors....

06-10-2013, 08:17 AM
I worked in a body shop while going to school and learned an important lesson while there. When working on any restoration project always use the least abrasive solution possible to achieve the desired result. Not saying you won't have to sand or go to 400 to get there but I would be working my way into it rather than doing the entire boat with it to start with. You'd be amazed what rubbing compound and a rotary buffer can do (good and bad). It's all going to depend on the surface condition.

I typically tackle these projects as "long term" goal type of projects and will start in one area making my decisions on an area by area basis. Restore one area, have a beer while reflecting on what went well and what might have worked better then move on to the next. If all goes well you'll be somewhat of an expert on gelcoat restoration by the time you're done.

06-15-2013, 02:05 AM
I am in the process of knocking down some oxidation/fade on the transom of my boat since I'm changing out the decal to a newer version. I went with 1000 grit and wouldn't go any more than that. In fact, #1200 would have been best to start with. Will follow with #1500 and then start with the compounds. This pic is at #1000. More than enough to cut through the worst of it.

06-18-2013, 04:11 AM
Here is after I went to #1500, then polished it with MeGuiars #2, then to an orbital polisher with #7 and work that a little while. Could easily start at #1500. Got it back to such a good gloss I put my newer transom decal on.